In under 48 hours, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has pedalled back on his claims that the company would cease operations in the EU if it could not comply with its upcoming AI Act.

Altman posed the idea that OpenAI would leave the EU if the company could not comply with its upcoming laws on Wednesday. However, the ChatGPT boss now claims the company has “no plans to leave.”

Two days following his initial comments, Altman wrote a tweet stating: “Very productive week of conversations in Europe about how to best regulate AI! 

“We are excited to continue to operate here and of course have no plans to leave.”

During an interview with reporters at a London event, the CEO was quoted as saying: “The details really matter.”

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By GlobalData

“We will try to comply, but if we can’t comply we will cease operating,” Altman added.

The CEO claimed the current draft of the EU AI Act was “over-regulating” and said “we have heard it’s going to be pulled back”.

These comments were met with criticism from lawmakers in the process of creating the EU’s AI regulation.

Dragos Tudorache, a Romanian member of the European Parliament, told Reuters: “I don’t see any dilution happening anytime soon.

“We are nevertheless happy to invite Mr. Altman to Parliament so he can voice his concerns and hear European lawmakers’ thoughts on these issues,” he added.

The full set of AI rules has not yet been finalised – but lawmakers have said generative AI applications like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard will have to disclose everything copyrighted they use in training. The EU hopes this will help to address concerns around content plagiarism.   

The EU AI Act is reportedly in the last stages of finalising the new bill. It is not currently clear when it will be fully released.

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